Quantitative separation of small amounts of rare earths from thorium, uranium, and zirconium by ion exchange
A successful method has been developed for the determination of certain rare earths in thorium in the fractional ppm range. The procedure is based on the ion-exchange chromatographic separation of the rare earths plus added yttrium carrier from the thorium, followed by emission spectrometric determination of the rare-earth impurities in the yttrium carrier. A simultaneous separation from the rare earths of the common element impurities present in the thorium has been accomplished. A high degree of compensation for procedural errors is achieved by the use of a pure rare earth as both the carrier in the separation and purification procedure and the matrix material in the spectrographic determination.